Over the years we have had success rattlin and gruntin’ for bucks. When the rut is going full blast, both of these methods work well. See my November 10, 2008 post “]Rattled In]”, in this one Brad and I successfully rattled up and shot a nice buck.
Thursday afternoon, a week ago, 2 of my Grandson’s, Colton Mitchell and Wesley Culbertson, and I decided to have a go at rattlin’ up a buck. Even though it’s well into the third round of doe coming into estrus, we hoped that we could entice a buck to our simulated sparring match. Based on personal sightings and game cam photos we believed that the tripod stand in the extreme, southwestern corner of the ranch would be the best spot to weave our, hopeful, web of intrigue.
The brush is real thick in our part of Central Texas, so for last Thursday’s rattlin’ we chose a tripod stand, cut back into an oak motte. This was our choice because the area below the stand offered Wesley, the cameraman and me, the rattler, the most cover. Colton, already 17, and restricted no longer to hunting only with an adult, had the topside perch in the stand. He would be the shooter.
Before watching the video, there is one important thing to notice, the tips of the horns have been rounded off! Deer horns are very hard and if the ends aren’t taken care of, it could result in some very painful ‘nicks to hands and fingers! I bear witness to this remark!
As the video plays, I start it off with a few grunts and then the horns clash. During the “fight”, simulating the bucks thrashing around, I disturb the ground with my legs and the horns. The elapsed time of the “fight” can vary. Early in the year, when the rut first begins, a mere touching of the horns could be sufficient to lure out a bashful buck, but as the season progresses and things get serious, really clanking them together may be necessary.
After the feeder went off and during our rattlin’ the doe came in to feed. The rattlin’ and gruntin’ didn’t run them off, they just seemed to kinda’ squat down a little, looked around, then resumed feeding. They seemed not to mind the “boys” making a little racket over them!
We rattled 5 times during our 1-1/2 hour hunt, and no, we didn’t get a buck, but we had a lot of fun and the boys learned something! We gotta’ be sure and pass these things on!